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Trains carrying toxic chemicals collide in US, 2 dead

Two freight trains transporting toxic chemicals smashed into each other in the US state of Arkansas early Sunday (Aug 17), killing two people and injuring two others, police said.

WASHINGTON: Two freight trains transporting toxic chemicals smashed into each other in the US state of Arkansas early Sunday (Aug 17), killing two people and injuring two others, police said.

The dead and injured were all believed to be crew members, the statement said.

"As a precautionary measure a large number of Hoxie residents have been evacuated," police said, naming the town of around 3,000 in northeastern Arkansas where the collision took place at around 3:00 am (0700 GMT).

"A fire involving one of the train engines was reported still burning at daybreak, however it is not believed to be threatening any of the toxic cargo," the statement added.

Highways leading into Hoxie were closed by state police, it added.

Both trains were from the Union Pacific Railroad. Police said the company had confirmed to them the cargo on both trains was toxic chemicals.

The company said investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board were headed to the scene, and said federal regulations therefore blocked it from making public statements.

The NTSB said it would give further updates after its investigators arrived later Sunday.

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